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CMS Vs Custom Web Development - Pros and Cons

  • Highly complicated projects require custom development, to make sure that all the requirements of a client are satisfied. But if needed, even complex projects can be developed with just CMS if your developers are experienced enough

CMS Vs custom web application development

It is a very common topic of discussion while starting a new web project: Should I go for CMS (Content Management System)? Or should I develop a custom web application? CMS vs custom development is quite a reasonable question for a technical or non-technical person because each option comes with pros and cons depending on the context. It is essential to take this decision severely and avoid assuming that a particular technology is the right choice without thinking beyond the obvious.

Every company has different needs, and this fact is reflected in determining the kind of website a particular business must-have. Every company’s web development requirements are different too and the only part that’s common between business websites is that they all need a content management system (CMS) to work efficiently. A  custom CMS lets you add, edit, and manage content on your website. While there are now premade CMS tools available (Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress, etc.), there is also the option of custom development of a website from scratch. While pre-made CMS lets businesses get their websites up and running in no time, custom web development has its advantages. Highly complicated projects require custom development, to make sure that all the requirements of a client are satisfied. But if needed, many complex projects can be developed with just Drupal if your developers are experienced enough to do that.

Website or web application?

Firstly you need to classify the type of software that you are going to build. A website, in my opinion, is a web application to serve static content to the end-users which we normally call “readers”, the only interaction of the users is in one-way: reading.  On the other hand, a web application allows you to do more than just reading. It lets users interact with an application in every way, for that it uses Java web application development. It means that It needs input from the users and gives a response that could be associated with the processing or collecting information from external services or a database.

By all this, we can conclude that if you are developing an application, It is probably better to move forward with custom website development, because you will have more flexibility at hand but it’s just the beginning, there are other factors to consider. To compare the respective benefits and cost of CMS and custom website design, we must take into account the features, functions, and content structure required.

Content Management System

CMS main aim is to help websites' owners with limited knowledge of the web manage their content. Usually, with custom CMS, developers set up the CMS for their client and carry out adjustments, as required. A CMS is a software, installed on a web server, providing tools to help artists, website owners and creators to manage and web content. Some of them offer e-Commerce add-ons and features for customer communication. Typically, a web interface known as back-end offers the functions to handle the content and do administration tasks.

Benefits of CMS

Using a CMS to create and maintain websites offers multiple advantages: it spares web development time.  A dedicated web development team maintains and improves the CMS software. A CMS gives power with simplicity so you still have time to focus on improving your business. Here are a few key benefits of using a CMS to run your business website.

  • Easier for the non-technically savvy

Not every user has the same comfort level when it comes to technology, but the general CMS functions of writing and publishing content and slightly advanced ones of combining media are usually easy for everyone to apprehend. Anyone who can use word-processing software can basically use CMS web development for the general functions – so you don't even have to put in much effort into training.

  • Streamlines scheduling

Any average CMS will give you a glimpse of the status of all content, whether it is live, for review or a draft. This doesn't just apply to blog posts but product pages and other website pages as well. It lets you assign tasks and monitor if they have been completed. And it's easier to integrate prepared content with your marketing plan so that everyone knows if things are taking place as planned.

  • Allows multiple users

In a company, multiple people can give input into your website, from those who add product pages to those who create blog posts for your content marketing efforts. A CMS lets you direct roles and publishing permissions for all these users so that only those you allow can publish content and post only goes live when it's ready.

  • Improves site maintenance. 

Need to modify something on your website?  Without a CMS, that can mean having to go through tons of pages, making changes on each of those pages. In CMS, the basic architecture is the same so you can execute maintenance changes, update the CMS software and add functionality without interrupting the site. The right CMS although may keep itself up-to-date automatically.

Disadvantages Of using CMS

  1.  There’s always a chance of a theme being used by other companies and your website failing to have a unique look.
  2.  A lot of plugins doesn't give you much freedom with design changes, meaning you’re limited to a particular design, that may not necessarily match  with the rest of the website’s content
  3. Access to modify certain elements of the site will require your team members to have full “Admin” access, which means they could unintentionally make changes that infringe the site or bring security vulnerabilities.
  4. WordPress websites are highly vulnerable to hacking as the code used is available to everyone, therefore professional hackers can easily cause difficulties and steal data and content from your website.

Custom web development

The alternative to CMS involves developing a custom web design and development system to fit the particular content requirements of the customer.  Custom websites ensure that you can add features that are necessary for your clients to have to utilize your services. Creative and artistic areas, event-based businesses, or consulting companies might benefit a lot from custom development. Extensive information projects, portals of services, or multi-sites projects usually implement a custom or semi-custom web development services.

Benefits of Custom web development

  • Unique design

A custom web design offers uniqueness and individuality to the business. No other individual or company would have the exact design as your website has, which makes your label stand out from others.

  • Branding

A custom website with custom graphics and look, lets you easily stand out and your visitors will remember your website.  Not only Your website content being read by visitors, but they are also sticking around longer on your website, and you’re getting better conversions.

  • Custom-fit

Custom website design cost less, for what it allows you to do. It creates not only aesthetic aspects of the site template but also the functionality of the website which is tailored to your individual business needs and your client’s requirements. Proper attention is also paid to the user's experience, visual graphics, navigation, colour scheme, overall character and layout of the website.

  • Scalability 

Custom web design lets you implement an informational architecture that becomes more effective with your business growth.  You can implement additional integration and customizations with other platforms such as social networking tools and e-commerce. While custom web designs pricing might be more high-priced in the beginning, these sites give better ROI and growth in long terms.

  • SEO optimized

Custom web design allows for your website to be developed according to particular SEO techniques that help in facilitating higher rankings on search engines.

  • Grow the reputation

You know your online game needs consideration and this will only happen when your visitors find something interesting. Custom design benefits include establishing a rapport for your business and creating a unique brand for your company that upgrades its reputation.

Disadvantages Of using Custom web development

  1. Custom-built websites often come bundled with a monthly hosting and updates package to keep the site protected, which acquires a higher cost.
  2.  It can cost more to ask a developer to build a website totally custom-made to your business needs and will also extend the launch time of the website.
  3. Overall access to the website “behind the scenes” may be restricted, it means that your business will rely on the original developer to execute adjustments to certain areas, causing further cost in the development.


Free website design templates may work fine for basic website design, but they won’t help to project the professional representation or influence you want to put out there. Designing a custom site takes more effort so that it stands out from the masses and does not necessarily have to be cost-prohibitive. So if you are someone that has a distinct vision for how you’d like your website to look and function then consider hiring someone for custom web design and development.

Evon Technologies is an offshore software consulting and custom web development company in India. One of the solutions we provide is building custom websites with the help of our dedicated team who design, code and create your website to include all of the crucial areas required. We make sure that the website looks unique and is user-friendly for the visitor and content management team. We’ll set everything up so you can keep the site going on your own and also help your team learn the best practices for executing updates in future. If you like to start or need further information, contact us today or drop an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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